"The History of the Prairie View Interscholastic League: Black High School Sports in Texas in the Era of Segregation" features memorabilia courtesy of the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association, which works to preserve and commemorate the history of the League and its governance over athletic, academic, and music competitions for the state’s black high schools during segregation. The PVIL was organized in 1920 by Prairie View officials and existed until 1970 when its merger with the University Interscholastic League was completed.
The exhibit includes vintage images, trophies, news clips, uniforms and equipment. Despite being woefully underfunded and lacking other basic resources, PVIL schools featured passionate rivalries, legendary coaches and dozens of college All-Americans, most through historically black colleges such as Prairie View and Texas Southern University.
The UIL opened in 1910 at the University of Texas to govern competitions for “any white public school” in the state. It would be another 10 years before African American students in Texas would have the same guidance afforded them by the Texas Interscholastic League of Colored Schools, which would mirror the UIL’s operations and produce some of the finest football talent in the nation.
The exhibition will remain on display through February 15, 2022.